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Sport for Development and Criminal Justice Sector-Wide Theory of Change

Language: EN

Posted by Justin Coleman

Sport and Criminal Justice - Sector-wide Theory of Change.

The Alliance of Sport has produced a sector-wide Theory of Change – in short a vision for how Sport for Development and Criminal Justice Sectors can work together to achieve maximum and sustainable whole system impact. This is currently being reviewed academically by the University of Gloucestershire Team, of which further research will be made available during 2019.

The document, drawn up by industry experts, establishes guidelines for building a solid UK wide/national base of evidence to prove sport’s effectiveness at preventing criminal behaviour and rehabilitating of offenders.

It also sets out guidelines for how the impact of sport projects should be measured across five key performance indicators – in line with the UK's Government ‘Strategy for Sport‘: 

1. Engagement;
2. Physical and mental wellbeing; 
3. Individual development;
4. Education and training; and 
5. Community and social development.

The sector-wide Theory of Change aims to establish a sector-wide methodology to improve the quality and consistency of delivery across all relevant projects in England and Wales. Working with key stakeholders we will build a national evidence base to highlight the power of sport and physical activity in reducing crime, which will support the case for increased investment in this area. This has been utilised by many international organisations interested in this Activity based approach to rehabilitation.

The Alliance of Sport’s Ambassador, the Rt Hon the Lord McNally said:

“As tight budgets and cost cutting take hold across the public sector we are increasingly operating in a world driven by evidence-based policy making. Whilst the principle is sound, it can have an unwanted consequence of stifling innovation and creative thinking.

It has already been used to question investment in sports for the desistance of crime. The Alliance of Sport’s ‘Theory of Change’ aims to turn that on its head, and clearly demonstrate not just how sport positively impacts on people’s lives, but also the multiple benefits it produces in saving future victims from the trauma of crime, saving the taxpayer the cost of incarceration and rehabilitation, and giving people the life-skills they need to make a positive contribution to society. It will provide powerful ammunition for those arguing for a sports strategy being an integral part of our forward thinking about criminal justice”.

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'Alliance fo Sport for the Desistence of Crime' logo

The Alliance of Sport’s sector-wide Theory of Change was produced by New Philanthropy Capital and Director of Operations and Co-Founder of the Alliance of Sport, Justin Coleman. 

Resource Author(s): 
Justin Coleman
Publication Date:
Wednesday, 9 January, 2019
Language of the document:
Type of resource: 
Opportunities and Resources
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